Tag: rich ruler
Scripture reading for April 17th: Luke 18:18-43
It takes faith to give away your resources to help the poor and needy. Jesus was asked by a certain ruler what he must do to inherit eternal life. Jesus told him that keeping the commandments was a good place to start. (Luke 18:19-20) This man felt that he had been keeping them since he was a boy. “When Jesus heard this, he said to him, “You still lack one thing. Sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow Me.” When he heard this, he became very sad because he was a man of great wealth. Jesus looked at him and said, “How hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God.” (Luke 18:22-24)
This rich ruler knew that Jesus was a great teacher and he must have respected Him enough to ask about his eternal soul. Possibly he had been listening to some of Jesus’ prior teaching about the rich man and Lazarus and was pondering his chances of ending up in heaven or hell. (Luke 16:19-31) At any rate, Jesus answered his question by pointing him to the ten commandments. This man felt that he had kept them all since boyhood! Jesus, knowing the true state of his soul, pointed out one more thing that he lacked. This one thing, selling all his many goods and giving them to the poor proved to be too much.
This man had placed money ahead of following Jesus. He had an idol in his life that he was unaware of until Jesus showed him what he lacked. He foolishly held onto that which he could not keep and lost the precious gift of eternal life! Truth is not easy to receive when we have to let go of something dear to us. We will be tested for our willing obedience and faith when we seek eternal life and a relationship with the Lord.
The disciples who followed Jesus were promised great returns for leaving their businesses and wealth behind. “I tell you the truth,” Jesus said to them, “no one has left home or wife or brothers or parents or children for the sake of the kingdom of God will fail to receive many times as much in this age and in the age to come eternal life.” (Luke 18:29-30) God pays well!